In-House Knot / Rope Training – Simplifying A Dreaded Skill For Some…

EHOVE Fire Academy students tying knots.

By: Lt. Bronner


Training does not always have to be formal or elaborate, in fact training can be informal, low key and fun.  Sometimes low-key training can be just as effective and have the same results.  The following trainings are something that can be done at home or in the station.  They can be done while watching TV, or during your every day station routine.


The first training is called “recliner ropes”.  Next time you are sitting with some down time grab a small piece of rope.  Throw the rope to some one in the room and tell them a common fire service knot to tie.  After they tie the knot they can throw the rope to someone else and give them a knot to tie.  If you want to ad a degree of difficulty or mix the training up, add fire gloves and even a blindfold.  This training can also be done in your own home while watching television.

The second training came to light when I was vacuuming the station one day.  I looked down to find the vacuum cord had made its way into a “figure 8”.  I quickly snapped a quick photo and text it out to a few guys.  I put a caption on it something similar to “looks like our vacuum can quit attending rope training, it ties a pretty good figure 8”.  This training could take some time, but you can make scavenger hunt cards and throughout the day find cords and other things that have made their way naturally into basic knots and check them off. Another option is to take photos and text them to your crew and have them guess the knot.

Both of these training are guaranteed to spark discussion, build teamwork, be competitive, and fun.  Some times the best trainings are simple and do not feel like training at all.  If you need help with tying knots check out Animated Knots.


Some of us have a harder time than others when trying to set up a 3:1 hauling system or even a belay.  We’ve been training with the CMC MPD and have heard the non-rope guys say “oh thank goodness” and the rope gurus really start to think of different useful ways to use it.

The MPD really simplifies the set-up for our systems.  Give it a try.

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